The Covid-19 pandemic and Russian’s invasion of Ukraine has left the UK economy in turmoil. With the ongoing cost of living crisis causing many small businesses to revaluate the technology they depend on. With the tumultuous turning of the financial tide, perhaps the question we should be focusing on is: Is it still feasible to fund and embrace digital upgrades in the present climate?
Only last year a new study identified a fundamental gap that highlighted the low levels of digital confidence amongst small businesses and the additional support required for entrepreneurs to develop. Figures in the study stated that 64% of businesses hold back from investing in technology because of the overwhelming cost to maintain software and devices while 83% of small business stated they “do not have enough support with digital skills”. This reticence, while understandable, holds back small businesses.
Michelle Oven CBE, Founder of Small Business Britain, explains it well, saying, “…these insights and learnings show what is needed to really supercharge things and ensure the smallest of businesses use digital to unlock the world of magic and opportunity that is within them. The imperative to do so is clear – without confidence and an openness to new things, businesses stay in their comfort zone, and miss out on great new opportunities.”
Not all technology is out of reach
With the rise of social media over the past decade, more and more businesses are using popular platforms to attract potential customers to their business. Over 55% of small businesses created an Instagram and TikTok account during the pandemic to drive customers to their brand. Social media is a free way of embracing technology and is proving that tech can drive results.
The study also revealed that 21% of businesses were investing in productivity tools to save time and streamline processes. Although some tech does have a price tag, the right tech can save a business money in the long run by improving efficiencies and replacing outdated systems that will be unusable in the future.
There are some impending technology changes that are unavoidable – like the sunsetting of 3G networks and the retirement of the copper PSTN network. This means that not investing in tech upgrades is going to cost a lot more that some investment now.
The key lies in getting the right solution for your business – from the right provider.
While it’s scary to look at investing in anything while inflation is so high, bills are constantly increasing and the political landscape is ever changing, there are some ways to make the money work harder than just a shiny new device.
- Choose suppliers with the skills to help you. You’re not in this alone, and you shouldn’t have to waste valuable time untangling technical jargon and trying to figure out which broadband speed or phone system features you need. The right supplier should only need to chat to you and understand the needs of your business to recommend the right solution.
- Check your suppliers have the support to support you. Are they a small one-man band, or are they partnered with industry leaders like BT, Samsung, Microsoft and Gamma? If they have the right partners and suppliers, you know you can trust you’re getting the best from the best.
- What’s their reputation? Check TrustPilot scores and see if they put their money where they’re mouth is.
- What’s the service support like? Getting the upgrade in is one thing – maintaining it is another. Make sure there’s a good service level agreement with easy, round the clock access to support.
Although these current times feel uncertain and erratic, a report undertaken by Forbes found that 58% of customers are willing to pay more for better customer service. While suppliers like Daisy Communications can’t help with everything, there are ways we can support in futureproofing areas of your business to allow you to engage with your customers in the way they demand in a way that makes financial sense.